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Disruptive marketing and unintended consequences in the nonprofit arts sector

Theresa A. Kirchner (Management Department, School of Business, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, USA)
John B. Ford (Department of Marketing, College of Business and Public Administration, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA)
Sandra Mottner (College of Finance and Economics, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, USA)

Arts Marketing: An International Journal

ISSN: 2044-2084

Article publication date: 18 May 2012




This research is the first to examine disruptive marketing, a subset perspective of entrepreneurial marketing, and unintended consequences of marketing in the context of the nonprofit arts sector.


This exploratory research has two components: development of a body of knowledge and conceptual model of disruptive marketing, its predictors, and its intended/unintended consequences based on pertinent literature and input from arts organization executive directors, artistic directors, and marketing managers; and preliminary assessment, with a qualitative study, of the operationalization of disruptive marketing and related factors in arts organizations.


The study categorizes and analyzes qualitative study structured interview responses to outline commonality/lack of commonality among them and provide insight into perceptions of arts organization executive directors.

Research limitations/implications

This initial study inaugurates an academic research stream on the topic of disruptive marketing which has the potential to make a significant contribution to the body of marketing knowledge. Future opportunities include scale development and quantitative testing of the proposed theoretical model, broadening the research scope to include multiple input sources from a wide variety of arts organizations and longitudinal research to assess the model factors over time.

Practical implications

Analyses of both preliminary input from arts organization managers and qualitative study responses of arts organization executive directors indicate significant interest in application of creative and innovative approaches to arts sector marketing‐related situations.


This paper is the first to study perceived scope/characteristics of disruptive marketing and unintended consequences of marketing in the nonprofit arts sector, and it presents results of a qualitative assessment of those topics, including consequences.



Kirchner, T.A., Ford, J.B. and Mottner, S. (2012), "Disruptive marketing and unintended consequences in the nonprofit arts sector", Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 70-90.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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